When you think of starting a side hustle, a boda boda business is perhaps one of the things that come into your mind. What most people don’t know is, it has its ups and downs just like any other business. There are things you need to know about motorbikes that transcend just riding on one or getting carried or running it as a transport business.
One, there is an extensive range of models with varying engine capacities from 100cc to 1200cc. But, we will delve into the most common which are 100-500 cc models; – Skygo, Ranger, Bajaj, Boxer, TVS, Dash 7, Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki etc. Many of these models are made in China and India and other Asian countries. They are all made for specific jobs which most buyers tend to overlook.
When you look for a motorbike to buy for transport where overloading and bad roads are the norm, get yourself a more pricey model like Yamaha, Suzuki or Honda. Another issue people overlook is availability and cost of spares. Some motorbike spare-parts cost almost as much as those of a vehicle.
1) Motorbikes just like any other machinery, is to be handles properly, serviced regularly, cleaned and fitted with original parts
2) if you misuse or abuse your motorbike by poor usage like overloading, driving carelessly over bad roads, speeding on high gear, it usually lasts for a month. Ask how many people are selling their broken hardly 6 month old bikes as scrap or for spares.
3) If you want to operate this in a rural setting or a place with rough terrain, buy one with twin suspension and proper drive-train and wheels. Just like they have 4WD vehicles, then bikes have the same.
4) If you have to employ someone to operate it, take the first ride with them and see how they handle it. When a bike crashes, most times it leaks oil inside the engine casing which fouls the spark-plug leading to it smoking excessively and eventually breaking down
5) Have a period of operations with your bike as per the manufacturer’s manual, end of warranty or parts/service means the beginning of the end of it giving you great service. Sell while still serviceable.
6) The first parts to wear out are usually the shock absorbers and the rear wheel bearing which makes it wobble. Other parts are brakes and electrical and this is partly because of grime and dirt, wash your machine properly.
7) Last but not least, if you focus on running a fleet of bikes, also plan on opening a parts store and garage, they save you plenty of money.
8) Unless you have a bike that costs over 100 k new, all the rest have a life-span of between 2 and 6 months depending on usage. Beginners should save for a new one.
9) Lastly, buy comprehensive insurance cover, proper gear (helmet, gloves, heavy jacket & dust filter) Good luck